PHOENIX (ABC15) — An Arizona man who survived the Las Vegas mass shooting in 2017 is finally speaking publicly.
Despite some calling him a hero after a photo that showed him and another man helping two women to safety, David Carter says he never spoke publicly about that horrific day because he didn’t see himself as anyone special for helping two women get away.
“The picture went all over the news, and all over Facebook,” said Carter. “Who was I, and who was the other guy? Because we were two guys who saved these girls, and they just wanted to thank us for who we were.”
Carter said he would eventually meet the strangers and still considers the others in the photo as friends.
“It took a long time to recover. Like I wouldn’t go out, I wouldn’t go to concerts anymore, it was just rough,” he added.
More than five years since the shooting, Carter said he was hurt badly last year while crossing the road at night.
During a video call, Carter showed the incident that left him nearly crippled.
Carter says he's had two surgeries and said he was hit by a driver who took off last March in Gilbert, Ariz.
“I can’t go straight or make a fist — that’s my hand, that’s all I can do for a fist,” Carter said.
Reporters couldn’t independently confirm the hit-and-run since he didn’t file a police report, but he did share documents of his hospital stay for treatment last March with the injuries.
Carter said he had a radial and wrist fracture from the crash.
At the time of the accident, Carter did not have health insurance, so it left him with tens of thousands of dollars in medical debt.
“I lost everything I had. I lost my credit, I lost all my credit cards, I lost my money. I had to pay for my first surgery out of my pocket because insurance I was trying to get didn’t come in time for my first surgery,” Carter said.
Now he has been left without work as each surgery has left a recovery time period of six months. Carter is left to question how he can be the helper.
"Before, I was the guy who could help anybody. Now I'm the guy who doesn't have nothing, I'm just lost in the whole thing," Carter said.
A friend of Carter has shared a fundraiser on social media to help him.
“My friend here who was featured in national news and hailed as a HERO during the mass shooting in Las Vegas for helping strangers to safety is now in need of some help himself as he was hit by a car and been out of work and down on hard times,” said Roman Mendoza by email.